Raptors win Game 5 thriller to move within one victory of NBA Finals

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Fourth quarter (Raptors win quarter 33-24)

THE TORONTO RAPTORS ARE ONE GAME AWAY FROM THE NBA FINALS

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Toronto closes out Game 5 105-99 on the back of KAWHI, who was sensational with 35 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. VanVleet was unbelievable with 21 points and Lowry came up big with 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. The Bucks hadn’t lost three straight all season but here we are.

The Raptors inbound to Kawhi in the backcourt who gets the ball to Lowry and the ball eventually makes its way to Siakam for a dunk with Milwaukee scrambling. Raptors lead 102-97 with 16 seconds remaining!

Raptors get the ball up the court and call their final timeout with 23.4 seconds remaining. This is a huge decision by Nurse. 100-97 Raptors.

The Bucks rush up the court, Siakam closes out on Brogdon and with the Milwaukee guard looking to get around him, the ball goes out off Milwaukee. The Raptors are now up three with possession and 26.8 seconds remaining.

Second free-throw, MISSED. Three-point lead for the Raptors.

First free-throw, GOOD.

The Raptors have Gasol at the line with 34.7 seconds remaining and a two-point lead, 99-97.

Kawhi gets a stop on Giannis on one end and then makes 1-of-2 free throws at the other end to push the Raptors’ lead to four, 99-95 with 1:12 remaining. Giannis was forced to leave the game temporarily with pain in his right ankle after landing on Leonard’s foot.

Brook Lopez ties the game at 93 with a triple off an offensive rebound but that man Steady Freddy gets a triple of his own to push the Raptors lead back up to three. Under two minutes remaining.

After Gasol makes a big-time triple to push the Raptors lead to seven, the Bucks come back with a Brogdon deuce and a Giannis triple to make it a two-point game with under four minutes remaining.

Timeout Raptors. The Bucks get a couple buckets and Nurse calls a good timeout to get things back in order. There’s 5:25 remaining and the key is going to be half-court execution on both ends. Raps by four.

It is now a 10-0 run for the Raptors and an 89-81 lead with 6:13 remaining. Gasol has been tremendous defensively down the stretch and the team as a whole continues suffocate the Bucks in the half court.

KAWHI makes another triple and it’s 85-81 Raptors with 7:56 remaining! This man is as cold-blooded as they come!

Fred’s got six triples! Kawhi drops a triple of his own and the Raptors lead 82-81 with 8:28 remaining.

Third quarter (Tied quarter 26-26)

The Raptors are in a three-point game on the road despite shooting 34.9 percent from the field. Enough cannot be said about the defence, especially on Giannis. They’ve had poor starts to the first and third quarters, and will need to be better to start the final frame.

Bucks lead 75-72 after three. Hold on to your seats, folks. Kawhi’s triple makes it a one-point game before Milwaukee responds with couple of baskets of their own. The Raptors earn themselves a 2-for-1 opportunity to end the quarter and VanVleet just misses out on a three at the buzzer.

The VanVleet game. Steady Freddy hits back-to-back triples to pull the Raptors within four. Powell then drives to the rim and gets fouled and we’ve got ourselves a three-point game.

Does he bleed? He does. Giannis is bleeding from his mouth/nose area after going down on a drive but appears to be okay.

Nick Nurse has rung in the changes for his struggling starters. Gasol, Siakam and Green are all out of the game, with Ibaka, Powell and VanVleet coming in. Bucks lead 63-53 with 7:11 remaining in the quarter.

Bucks go on an 11-2 run to take a 60-51 lead. Siakam is unable to take advantage of mismatches, Milwaukee is making Toronto work in the half-court.

Kawhi picks up his third foul 20 seconds into the quarter with the game tied at 49.

Second quarter (Raptors take the quarter 24-17)

Bucks carry a 49-46 lead into halftime with Siakam making a big corner three after Milwaukee went on a 6-0 run that seemed to give them momentum. After trailing by as many as 14, it is the Raptors who have looked in control as a result of their stifling defence. After letting the role players get theirs in the first quarter, the Raptors really pumped the brakes in the second quarter.

If there is a play that embodies how hard the Raptors are playing right now, it is VanVleet getting switched onto Giannis on the perimeter, Giannis driving straight at him and the Raptors backup point guard staying vertical and getting the stop.

The Raptors are right there with Gasol and Green having combined for zero points on 0-for-7 shooting.

Kyle Lowry has become the Raptors’ all-time leader in playoff points scored with a three-pointer that ties the game at 43.

Brogdon gets back-to-back buckets after a Giannis three to help Milwaukee retake the lead after the Raptors temporarily went up 38-34.

A VanVleet three and Kawhi dunk ties the game at 34. Bucks call timeout as a result of the 14-2 Toronto run. The Raptors defence is on a string right now, getting stops at will and they could very well be leading right now if not for missing some great looks.

Toronto is hanging around and the Bucks fans are not happy with the whistle. “Refs you suck” chants emerge with Lowry getting to the line for two shots and the Raptors trailing 34-29 and nine minutes remaining in the first half.

Kawhi (2 fouls) checks back in with the Raptors trailing 32-24 a minute-and-a-half into the quarter. He assists Siakam on a corner three to cut the deficit to five.

First quarter (Bucks win the quarter 32-22)

The Bucks have delivered the first blow, leading by 10 after one. Bledsoe is rejuvenated with nine points early while Budenholzer has been rewarded for his decision to insert Brogdon into the starting lineup as he’s added eight points and five rebounds. The role players are clicking in general, as Giannis and Middleton have combined for 10 assists.

Toronto on the other hand, has a grand total of zero points from Gasol, Siakam and Green. Lowry has two.

Kawhi scored nine of the Raptors’ opening 15 points and assisted on a Norman Powell three-pointer, he is the system right now but picked up his second foul with four minutes remaining. So that’s both Kawhi and Siakam with two fouls each in the first quarter, not ideal.

Turnovers and failing to cash in on open looks are the story early for the Raptors, having coughed up possession four times and shot 2-of-8 from three point range with 4:54 remaining in the quarter. Gasol, Lowry and Green have all missed good looks from distance. Bucks lead 20-11.

Milwaukee has come out the aggressor to take an 11-3 advantage after the opening three minutes. Timeout, Toronto.

Norman Powell is forced to check into the game after just 95 seconds with Pascal Siakam picking up two early fouls.

Eric Bledsoe, who has received heavy criticism for his performance in this series thus far, has come out far more aggressive, making a jumper and getting to the line for a pair of free throws.

Kawhi gives Giannis plenty of room on the very first possession but the Greek Freak doesn’t settle, attacks, draws the foul, but misses both free throws.

Hello and welcome to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. The series is tied 2-2 with the home team having won every game.

Back in the comforts of their own home at Fiserv Forum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his team will look to retake control of the series while Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors will look to steal one and give themselves a chance to close out the series at home on Saturday.

The winner of the best-of-seven series will advance to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Pre-game notes

  • The Bucks have switched up their starting unit, inserting Malcolm Brogdon in place of Nikola Mirotic. Brogdon was a starter for much of the season until suffering a foot injury, and the Bucks have definitely been a better team with him on the court since he returned to action in Game 5 of the second roudn against the Boston Celtics.

  • Raptors head coach Nick Nurse confirmed before the game that Kawhi Leonard seems fresher and has more of a bounce to his step after looking hobbled for much of Game 4. He also looked in quite a jovial mood when getting his stretches in this morning.

  • Kyle Lowry needs nine points to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer in the playoffs.

  • Drake will join the Raptors faithful at Jurassic Park, giving Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and his team one less thing to be distracted by. Aaron Rodgers is in attendance as a Bucks fan, though.

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